Add an iSNS Server to the Fabric

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

A server that is running Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) provides discovery services of iSCSI devices in a storage area network (SAN). An iSNS server enables iSNS clients (such as the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator) to register themselves and to query for other registered iSNS clients (such as iSCSI targets).

Storage Explorer uses the information provided by each iSNS server in your SAN to list all the iSCSI initiators and targets available in your SAN under the iSCSI Fabrics node.


This feature enables you to perform a select subset of the tasks that relate to iSCSI and iSNS configuration and administration. You can also perform these and other tasks using the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, which is included in Windows Server 2008, and Microsoft iSNS Server, which you can install from Server Manager. Additionally, vendors of networking and storage solutions provide similar tools to perform iSCSI and iSNS configuration and administration tasks. For more information about iSCSI, see


Discovery of iSCSI nodes is achieved by querying iSNS servers in your SAN. If there are no iSNS servers in your SAN, or if the iSCSI initiators and targets have not been configured to use an iSNS server for discovery, you will not be able to see your iSCSI fabrics using Storage Explorer.


To view and manage your iSCSI fabric, you must enable the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) exception on every server running Windows Server 2008 that is part of your fabric, including all iSNS servers. Enable this exception by using Windows Firewall from Control Panel. For more information, see

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (

To add an iSNS server to the fabric

  1. In Servers, click the iSCSI initiator that you want to add an iSNS server to.

  2. In the Actions pane, click Add iSNS Server.

  3. Type the IP address of the iSNS server, and click OK.

  4. Right-click the Storage Explorer node (at the top of the console), and click Refresh SAN View.

Additional considerations

  • You can also use the management application of each iSCSI initiator to add the iSNS server information. For example, if you are using the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator, you can use iSCSI Initiator in Control Panel to add the iSNS server information (on the Discovery tab).

  • If you do not have any iSNS servers in your SAN, you need to install one. On a computer running Windows Server 2008, you can install Internet Storage Name Server using Server Manager (in the Features node, click Add Features). On a computer running Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003, you can download and install Microsoft iSNS Server 3.0 from the Microsoft Download Center (

    After you have installed one or more iSNS servers, configure each iSCSI initiator and target in your SAN to use an iSNS server for discovery. This configuration is done in the configuration tools for initiators and targets, such as iSCSI Initiator in Control Panel.

Additional references